Five players, four finals, two titles – what a week for Team Bath MCTA Tennis aces

23 October 2017

Liam Broady and Anna Smith both reached finals, while Samantha Murray, Richard Gabb and Luke Johnson were all victorious during an excellent week for Team Bath MCTA Tennis professionals on the international circuit.

Broady, who last month became the first Team Bath MCTA player to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour singles tournament, continued his fantastic form at the Las Vegas Tennis Open, an ATP Challenger Tour event.

He opened the week with a 6-4 6-4 win over Alex Rybakov before beating fellow Brit and number two seed Cameron Norrie 7-6 6-4. A battling 6-7 7-6 6-4 victory against former Junior Wimbledon Champion Reilly Opelka set up a semi-final with Evan King, which Broady won impressively 6-4 7-5.

Broady, coached by Dave Sammel and Ian MacDonald at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, made a great start to Sunday’s final and won the first set but cramped up in the closing stages as Stefan Koslov fought back to take the title 3-6 7-5 6-4.

Koslov was full of praise for Broady, saying: “We both just put it on the line and it could have gone either way. I was very impressed with Liam’s sportsmanship.”

Fellow Team Bath MCTA player Smith climbed into the top 50 of the world rankings as she reached her second WTA Tour women’s doubles final of the year with partner Nicole Melichar at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

(Left) Anna Smith and Nicole Melichar were runners-up at the Kremlin Cup in October 2017
(Left) Anna Smith and Nicole Melichar were runners-up at the Kremlin Cup

After a hard-fought 3-6 6-4 10-6 victory over Romania’s Irina-Camilia Begu and Raluca Olaru in the first round, Smith and Melichar stormed to successive 6-4 6-1 wins against Russia’s Ksenia Lykina and Polina Monova, and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine and Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova.

That set up a final against top seeds Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova, who won the first set 6-2 but lost the second 6-3 as Smith and Melichar fought back to force a tie-break decider. The Hungarian and Czech pair took that 10-3 to claim their fourth title of the year.

Smith was pleased to reach the final, saying: “We’ve had a great year and I’m looking forward to playing with Nicole again next year.”

Click here to watch Smith and Melichar contest the Kremlin Cup final.

On the ITF circuit, Murray followed up reaching the women’s doubles final at Cherboug-en-Cotentin in France with India’s Karman Kaur Thandi by going one better at the Joue-Les-Tours tournament with former Team Bath player Sarah Beth Grey.

Samantha Murray and Sarah Beth Grey won the women's doubles title at the Joue-Les-Tours tournament in October 2017
Samantha Murray and Sarah Beth Grey won the women’s doubles title at the Joue-Les-Tours tournament

After opening with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Myrtille Georges and Chloe Paquet, Murray and Grey beat another French pairing – Lou Adler and Camille Sireix – 6-2 7-5 in the quarter-finals.

An emphatic 6-3 6-1 win over Russia’s Kseniia Bekker and Norway’s Melanie Stokke put Murray and Grey through to the final, where they beat Romania’s Jaqueline Adina Cristian and Elena Gabriela Ruse 7-6(3) 6-3 to claim the title.

Over in Israel, Team Bath MCTA duo Gabb and Johnson (pictured top of the page) joined forces to win the men’s doubles title at a F13 Futures tournament.

A 7-5 6-4 win over home duo Edan Bakshi and Mor Bulis was followed by the toughest match of the week, a 3-6 7-5 10-3 victory against Israel’s Yannai Barkai and Britain’s Alexis Canter.

Gabb and World University Games silver-medallist Johnson then overcame Israel’s Orel Ovil and Yasha Zemel 6-4 6-4 before producing an excellent performance in the final to defeat Israel’s Alon Elia and Croatia’s Fran Zvonimir Zgombic 6-2 6-1.

Click here for more information about the International High Performance Centre at the University of Bath.

Partners and Suppliers